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Gradually, the competition teams and their referees arrive at the Luther Hotel in Wittenberg. They have behind them 24 hours of competition. Many thousands of contacts are recorded in the logbooks. Now the USB sticks have been handed over to the log checkers and the logbook files are subjected to strict control. Tomorrow, we'll know more about the final positions of the 63 teams.

> More Pictures at the Gallery.

Observations at site ABG-3

Sunday, 2:00 pm, contest end. Deep breathes from the three in the tent at  Site ABG-3. 24 hours work is behind them. Referee Michael Fulcher, KC7V, comes out of the tent, talks to us briefly and asks that we from the media team be patient. "Of course - we will comply," I reply in broken English before he closes the tent door with the zipper again. Meanwhile, more and more "volunteers" and "organizers" gather in the dry, dusty field about 6 km south east of Jessen. Several photographers have already set up in front of the tent entrance to watch the moment when the Y81N operators leaves the tent after more than 24 hours. Quiet, factual-sounding scraps of conversation come out of the tent. Some impatience is spreading. "Now stop," one of the bystanders thinks out loud and winks. Then the "cheerleader team" of Lithuanians arrives in a VW Camper and several cars. Their funny T-shirts stand out and their happiness is obvious. Everyone waits and then a familiar sound: the zipper opens and Gedas, LY9A, hurries to the porta-a-loo. "I have waited a long time," he murmurs smiling at each of us waiting for the crucial photo of the two operators. He looks puzzled but gets sympathetic looks from those he passes in his sweaty clothes. It is 32° C and undoubtedly even hotter in the tent. It takes a few more minutes and shortly after Gedas goes back into the tent, the referee and the contest crew seem to completed the formalities.

Did the team from Lithuania really win it? With more than 5.9 million points Gedas, LY9A, and Mindis, LY4L, are clearly ahead of the German team of Manfred, DJ5MW, and Stefan, DL1IAO. The Germans managed 5.3 million points. Whether the scores stay as they are is not yet certain, first all logs need to be checked. The work of the Log Checkers now starts. The memory keys with the contact logs on them are supplied to the log checking team. With the phrase "CQ contest, Y81N, CQ Test de Y81N" the Lithuanian team managed 5212 radio contacts. By the contest end, the German team achieved 4874 contacts.

Which teams get the lower places is open as the point differences between third to sixth places are very small. At the moment, the 2014 gold medalists from the USA are in third place, followed by teams from Slovenia, The Ukraine and Bulgaria. Whoever occupies the places in the end and if there is a change to the positions of the leading teams remains to be seen.

How many points remain after evaluation for each team is now in the hands of the checkers who will check everything very precisely.

Those who followed the scoreboard realized how quickly the positions of the teams changed.

What was interesting and exciting for the spectators was hidden from the competition teams, because in the rules of the competition accepted by the stations bans external access through smartphone, internet and more. Even the referee has only a simple telephone for use in emergencies or for questions to the organizers and judges. Therefore, the surprise was set for the competition end after 2:00 pm: Where did we finish up and where our competitors? Exhaustion and relief are written equally on the team's faces. After 24 hours of maximum concentration on the radio, relaxation and recovery are now essential. But not every team will succeed relaxing immediately as the adrenalin level is only gradually decreasing. Not everyone will be able to sleep straight away.

It is probably a mixture of feelings of happiness, the joy of what has been achieved and finally "having it over with", which is prevalent among all 63 teams and equally important, the 63 referees.

We want your Log and become a Assistant Judge Award (until Sunday July 15th, 2018 1800z)!!!

> More Information

There are still a few hours left to push the current leading team from Lithuania, who has had the lead for many hours, sitting in first place on the scoreboard. Gedas Lucinskas, LY9A, and Mindis Jukna, LY4L, led the way in the first few hours of the contest, while the German team of  Manfred Wolf, DJ5MW and Stefan von Baltz, DL1IAO, have been steadily progressing up from their initial position, midfield. Now, in the morning, both teams are separated by around 300,000 points from each other; this sounds a lot at first. But that can change. Will the equipment continue working? Will the concentration and fitness of the competitors be enough? The night was tiring with thousands of contacts and no team can afford to take a break if they are to have a chance of the World Championship title. It will remain exciting right up until the last minute. The excitement of the competitors is at least as high as that from the spectators watching the Scoreboard. But what distinguishes viewers from contesters is that the spectators can see the current position of all of the stations, the contest teams do not know, as they are not allowed a connection to the Internet. So the spectators watching the scoreboard up until the end of the contest know who the likely winner may be - so more than the contesters themselves. Whether, however, the places on the scoreboard become official can only happen after full log checking has taken place. This stage can only begin when the USB sticks with the data from the logging computers handed over by the referees in the HQ organization center. The log checkers are ready and waiting to get started. The winner will be announced tomorrow (Monday) evening.

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